Elmer the Elephant to follow in Great North Snowdogs' paw prints

The Great North Snowdogs replacement is a theme you'll never forget.

Wednesday, 14th February 2018, 3:35 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th February 2018, 3:40 pm
Elmer outside St Oswald's Hospice

It’s been announced today that Elmer’s Great North Parade will trumpet their way around the region in August 2019.

The parade, which will see dozens of painted elephant models spring up at locations across Tyne and Wear, will raise funds for St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice.

Elmer at Keel Square, Sunderland

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It follows the success of Great North Snowdogs in 2016, which attracted more than 670,000 visitors and brought £16.5m to the local economy.

Elmer will be visiting Tyne and Wear for ten weeks, and will provide the region’s established and emerging artists with a platform for their talent, whilst capturing the imaginations of people who follow the trail.

Written and illustrated by David McKee, Elmer was published by Andersen Press in 1989 and the brightly coloured patchwork elephant now features in a number of original stories, activity books, toys and on clothing.

The Snowdogs proved a bit hit in Sunderland and South Tyneside with dogs themed on everything from Paddington Bear and Elvis to Alice in Wonderland.

Elmer at Keel Square, Sunderland

The Parade will also be supported by a region-wide learning programme for schools and children’s groups and will culminate in a farewell weekend on November 2 and 3, 2019 before the sculptures are auctioned off for charity.

“Elmer was a natural successor to the Snowdog for a number of reasons,” said project lead, Jane Hogan “not least because he celebrates his 30th birthday this year, making him almost the same age as the hospice.

“But there are also connections to our work at the hospice. Elmer promotes values such as bravery, friendship and diversity and, like all elephants he lives in family groups, where they protect the young and vulnerable and mourn each other’s deaths. And, of course, elephants never forget.”